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Old 12-02-2012, 03:07 PM   #736
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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I have been hanging out in Flores. Went for a jaunt around the place. It is on an Island in Lago Peten Itza that is connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridge off in the distance:



I saw a faint rainbow and followed it to see what was at the end. Turns out it's James Bond's tuk-tuk:



It's nice here. I'm staying and heading to Tikal tomorrow if a hike to El Mirador doesn't materialize. Nice restaurant:



Kids swimming off the pier:



Colorful houses:



This is the cobblestone street you turn on to get to Los Amigos Hostel:



It is up and to the left on the first street. Tucked in the middle of the island so it is really kicked back and tranquil. I recommend this place. Paid for a bunk in the dormitory for 45 quetzals. I'm the only one here not on Facebook. The young backpackers are looking for the best guide to El Mirador. I would rather pay the money and go with Carlos and the cartel. We'll see. I'll probably camp up at Tikal tomorrow night.

Today I didn't do much so didn't spend much. 80 quetzals so far. Or about $10.40. Check that 130 quetzals after a nice dinner learning about Canadian politics and of all things star people. I don't meet people at home that know so many people from other planets. I've met two today. Will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.

Saludos,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 12-02-2012 at 05:32 PM
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #737
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Paid for a bunk in the dormitory for 45 quetzals.

If you have a chance, I'd love to see what kind of arrangements you get for this price. Thanks
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #738
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Originally Posted by SavannahCapt View Post
Paid for a bunk in the dormitory for 45 quetzals.

If you have a chance, I'd love to see what kind of arrangements you get for this price. Thanks
Hi SavannahCapt,

Ask and you shall receive:



Rack 'em and stack 'em baby. 10 up to a room in bunks. They also have small private rooms for more. But really if you have the money the hotel over in Santa Elena for 100 quetzals is much nicer. My bunk is on the top left of this pic. Right above pigpen from Italy.

A Quebecois just invited me to dinner so I must go...

Adios,
Juanito
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:49 PM   #739
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Gracias
What a deal. Especially if pigpen can play that guitar.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:54 PM   #740
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Looks like such a great time. I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to waiting for updates. Played with the dirtbike this weekend but between the pouring rain and football there won't be much riding going on up this way.

Stay safe(those of us stuck at work or in the rain need good reports to stay sane.)
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:21 PM   #741
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Originally Posted by Almost There View Post
Looks like such a great time. I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to waiting for updates. Played with the dirtbike this weekend but between the pouring rain and football there won't be much riding going on up this way.

Stay safe(those of us stuck at work or in the rain need good reports to stay sane.)
Hi AlmostThere,

I know what you're saying. Not to worry. It's my job to keep you entertained this winter during the doldrums in PNW weather. Believe me, I benefited from others who kept up ride reports and kept me entertained during Oregon winters when I lived there.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:32 PM   #742
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I'm really looking forward to reading this report. I know it's not likely you'd but I wonder how many gallons you'd use on this trip. I'm guessing 400.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:09 AM   #743
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Originally Posted by Gun Smoke View Post
I'm really looking forward to reading this report. I know it's not likely you'd but I wonder how many gallons you'd use on this trip. I'm guessing 400.
Hi Gun Smoke,

When you're buying liters for pesos followed by gallons for quetzals and soon to be liters for lempiras it's hard to keep track. Plus I don't know how long this trip will last before my money runs out.

So far I've traveled over 7000 miles. The Sherpa gets 70 mpg on a good day. Usually mid 60's per gallon in the mountains. So a little over 100 gallons I think. If that's wrong, Julio will let me know.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:32 AM   #744
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Took off for Tikal at dawn. Beautiful morning for a ride out here in northern Guatemala. Mist on the fields at sunrise:



Lago Peten Itza is quite large and you have to go all the way around it to get to Tikal. Here it is around the far end with sunrise clouds reflecting in calm morning waters. Really peaceful out here at daybreak:



There was paving and road construction going on so I was able to squeak around between the paving machine and the guardrail and down in the ditch around the dump trucks. Everyone else was stuck there and Tikal was empty when I got here. Here are some boys laying concrete pavers up in the main park area with homemade wooden mallets. The Jefe (foreman) is standing there as Jefes do around the world. They were doing a nice job. They pointed the way to camping:



Nice palapa. I was able to ride across the park and set up in 15 minutes. Locked my stuff in the tent. :



The GPS tells me it is at:

N 17º 13.483'
W 89º 36.633'

Rode over to the Jungle Lodge down the way to get some café con leche and wifi while I wait for the fog to lift and the clouds to burn off. Here is my office for the morning:



I plan on spending the whole day here exploring. So stay tuned for a stone mason's impression of Tikal later….

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:12 AM   #745
GuateRider
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Uaxactun

Hola John,
in Tikal you can get a permit to ride up to Uaxactun . The permit is free and it is a 1 h ride through the jungle to this incredible archeological site out there , in the middle of nowhere and no tourists around . If yo go there, make sure to visit both sites out there, they are only 1-2 km apart from each other . It used to be one of the most important observatories in the Mayan world .

Julio
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:19 AM   #746
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this sounds so awesome

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Best way to beat the larger groups of tourists at Tikal and to do a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the same time, is to hire the guide who wakes you up at 3:30 am and takes you on a hike into the park, way before it even opens to the public. Yes, you'll be hiking in pitch dark so bring a flashlight. The trails will be very slippery in places.

You'll climb to the top of one of the templos and sit and listen to the howler monkeys shriek in the dark as the day begins to dawn out of the mist. One by one the other tall templos focus out of la madrugada.

Did this in February of this year, and it was one of the best experiences of the trip.

Tip: Be patient. You'll be asking yourself - "what's the big deal, I'm just sitting here, like forever". Then you'll begin to understand. John will get it. Some fat tourist from Bayonne NJ, who couldn't make the hike anyway, would ask to leave before the show begins.

Tip: Be prepared with a decent raincoat and expect a passing morning shower while on top of the templo.

Tip: After you come down from the templo, you'll also be first on scene for all the classic spots at Tikal. Be prepared for morning photography capture.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #747
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuateRider View Post
Hola John,
in Tikal you can get a permit to ride up to Uaxactun . The permit is free and it is a 1 h ride through the jungle to this incredible archeological site out there , in the middle of nowhere and no tourists around . If yo go there, make sure to visit both sites out there, they are only 1-2 km apart from each other . It used to be one of the most important observatories in the Mayan world .

Julio
Hola Julio,

Thanks so much for the tip. I am back down at the Jungle Lodge for some almuerza after spending the morning wandering around Tikal. Really nice out here.

Uaxactun. I'm on it. Guatemala es mejor.

Muchas gracias amigo,
GringoJuan
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #748
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Senior Juan!

Finally caught up. Great entertainment and education. Love the masonry critiques, as I have done a fair bit in my day. Contributed to your 'kittie'.

Question: What's up with the flats? Are these punctures or is there something going on inside like spoke nipples chafing through the rim tape or something....Curious, because changing flats on either of my bikes would be much more PITA. I think your ride is prob one of the easiest types of bikes to do roadside repairs on no?

Am also following Dwight er, Kedgi. You guys are both great travel loggers, and the differences are interesting....Looking forward to when you finally meet up.

Thanks for doing all this, Phelps
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #749
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Location: Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
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Any Idea when you'll hit Chile/Argentina?

I'm starting a trip on December 9th in Santiago, Chile. I"ll be riding with my husband and our buddy Nivs for six weeks starting in Santiago, going south to Tierra del Fuego, then North to Buenos Aires and back west to Santiago. Our trip will end around January 18th.

Do you plan to get to that part of South America? If you'll be there anytime while we're there perhaps we can connect, but at the very least I just started a ride report called "Coffee to Mate" and if we find any useful tips/hints from those two countries I'll post there.

Your ride looks awesome! Can't wait to start my own!
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:45 PM   #750
JDowns OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootrider View Post
Senior Juan!

Finally caught up. Great entertainment and education. Love the masonry critiques, as I have done a fair bit in my day. Contributed to your 'kittie'.

Question: What's up with the flats? Are these punctures or is there something going on inside like spoke nipples chafing through the rim tape or something....Curious, because changing flats on either of my bikes would be much more PITA. I think your ride is prob one of the easiest types of bikes to do roadside repairs on no?

Am also following Dwight er, Kedgi. You guys are both great travel loggers, and the differences are interesting....Looking forward to when you finally meet up.

Thanks for doing all this, Phelps
Hi Phelps,

It's my pleasure. Thanks for the donation. It will go to the guides for the El Mirador expedition. It looks like it's on for day after tomorrow. 5 days of slogging through the jungle to see some awesome ruins. El Tigre is the height of a 21 story building. Pictures from the top will be due in part to your sponsorship. They say you can see Calakmul from the top. That is the honkin' pyramid I climbed on the Mexico/Guat border a couple weeks ago.

As far as flats, there seems to be a slight imperfection in the sidewall of my rear tire. None of them have come from punctures. The flats are all initially coming from abrasion in the exact same spot on the side of the tube 12 inches from the valvestem. Baby powder would probably help, but I forgot to bring any and I keep meaning to pick some up but haven't in the last 7000 miles. The other flats are from the cold patches peeling off in the hot weather running hard. It's no big deal. I'll be replacing the rear tire soon and in the meantime I get to change my rear tube every 1000 miles or so. The Sherpa with it's small tires is a piece of cake to change flats on. I'm getting really fast.

You live in a beautiful area of the country. At least it was nice a couple of summers ago when I passed through.

Scootrider goes on the gas tank. Glad to have you along as Chief Executive in charge of Granite Quarrying.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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